Govt says new Data Protection draft is “almost ready,” withdraws Data Protection Bill 2021

Govt says new Data Protection draft is “almost ready,” withdraws Data Protection Bill 2021
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  • The government has withdrawn the Data Protection Bill 2021.
  • The IT minister has confirmed that the government is working on a new bill.
  • The bill will be presented to the public for consultations.
The central government has withdrawn the controversial Data Protection Bill 2021, nearly half a decade after it was first introduced by the then IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Ashwini Vaishnaw, the current IT minister, was granted permission to withdraw the bill from the parliament. Vaishnaw claimed that the bill had been withdrawn as a comprehensive framework is being developed to include the recommendations made by the Joint Parliament Committee (JCP), which has done extensive deliberations on the bill over the years.

“The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, was deliberated in great detail by the Joint Committee of Parliament (JCP). 81 amendments were proposed, and 12 recommendations were made towards the comprehensive legal framework on the digital ecosystem,” Ashwini Vaishnaw said.

“Considering the report of the JCP, a comprehensive legal framework is being worked upon. Hence, in the circumstances, it is proposed to withdraw 'The Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019' and present a new bill that fits into the comprehensive legal framework,” Vaishnaw added.

The IT minister, in a tweet, has confirmed that the new bill will be presented for consultations with the public.

In a tweet, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Minister of State, IT, revealed that the issues identified were “beyond the scope of modern digital privacy law” and that the new framework will be based on “global standard cyber laws.”

"Given the number of outstanding questions around issues like non-personal data, data localization, cross border data flows, exemptions to the central government, the government's intent to bring a fresh Bill that incorporates all the feedback could be a positive step. One hopes that the new Bill will be circulated for consultation in the near future,” said Aparajita Bharti, founding partner at TQH Consulting, a policy think tank.

Soon after withdrawing the bill, Vaishnaw revealed that the government was working on a new bill. In an interview with Economic Times, the IT minister added that the draft of the new data protection bill is almost ready.

As the bill will be made public for consultations, we should be able to see what has been changed from the last bill.


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